We are not entitled to a pain-free, trouble-free life. Getting this clear will ease the collision between expectations and reality.
One of the great causes of sadness in human life is the collision between expectation and what actually happens. The New Testament, therefore, for our joy, is relentlessly helping us to lower our expectations for this life and raise our expectations for the next.
For example, in 1 Peter 4:12, it says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal when it comes upon you as though something strange were happening to you.” In other words, get it fixed in your head it is not strange to have life go bad for you as a Christian. Paul, in Romans 8, said, “Even we, even we who have the Holy Spirit grown inwardly as we wait for our adoption as children, the redemption of our body.” Even those in this life who have the Holy Spirit will experience all the rheumatism and cancer and accidents and horror that the world does. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).
The constant lowering of expectations now is accompanied with a raising of expectations later.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is undefiled, unfading, imperishable, kept in heaven for you who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice. (1 Peter 1:3–6)
Now, we know it’s going to be hard. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but oh, how the New Testament raises higher and higher and higher our expectations of the life to come. Live in hope and embrace what God gives you in this life in love.